Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Honda Civic Hybrid Owners: Problems & Solutions



  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,555

    If you wear your seatbelt, the car won't "remind" you!
  • balletraiballetrai Posts: 1
    Hey all....I just recently purchased my 2003 HCH, i've only been driving it a couple of weeks now. But just this morning as i was driving it on the freeway, the IMA light came on and stayed on. My question is what does that mean and should i be driving it? :confuse:

  • nanodelle2nanodelle2 Posts: 9
    It may correct itself, but if your IMA light continues to come on, can this mean that your engine's not cutting off as it should after battery's recharged at a stop? (Also, when you lift your foot from the brake, the IMA's supposed to get your engine going again.)
    Whether or not your car's still under warrantee, I'd check w/ the dealer. There aren't too many auto shops that have a lot of experience w/ hybrids (that will change, I'm sure, but for now I'd stick w/ Honda dealership).
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    There is something wrong with the electric portion of the drive system. Take it to a dealer when you can...
  • gruchygruchy Posts: 3
    I am averaging 39 mpg in my '05 civic manual transmition. does anyone know were I can get information on how to increase my milage? :D
  • lessgas1lessgas1 Posts: 3
    Hello MisterMe! I would be greatly appreciative if you could tell me the information in regards to the individual that had their HCH's CVT replaced. My HCH also has the trans slip problem. Sometimes, when you take your foot off the gas @ about 20-35 mph it feels like the trans downshifts quite abruptly. Also, when cruising at about 70-80 mph on the expressway it has a problem w/ hills. It isn't that the power isn't there, but that the engine continually revs (up and down, up and down...) when you're increasing the amount of pressure on the gas pedal to try and stay at a constant speed. This isn't always a problem. However, it does make me wonder if I should use my warranty to get a new CVT. Anyway, the info would certainly be appreciated greatly! Thanks!
  • lessgas1lessgas1 Posts: 3
    You simply have to make sure that you're driving w/ that horizontal gage between 40 and 80. Personally, I strive to keep it as close to 60 as possible. I also coast whenever I can, and never let the engine get above 2500 (3000 MAX) RPMs when I'm accelerating. Also, on hills... you must never gas the car too much. Let the car slow down a bit if you have to. The assist will help a bit... saving on gas. It is all about strategy! I know that this sounds like it is SLOW... and it is true that during acceleration you're not exactly feeling g forces or anything... however I LOVE LOVE LOVE getting 55 mpg. I cannot describe the feeling w/ words, however I can tell you that driving properly, inflating the tire air pressure to the Max (per specs) and using premium gas will DEFINITELY MAKE A DIFFERENCE! Do it. Drive it how I told you to... and you WILL notice a difference!
  • gruchygruchy Posts: 3
    Thanks, I was wonder should I accelerate quickley, or slowly and letting the car bring you up a hill is good advise, I did not think of low rpms, i'll give it a try, and higher octane then 87 gas...ok I'll give it a try, thanks
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    " i'll give it a try, and higher octane then 87 gas...ok I'll give it a try, thanks"

    Better check the owners manual. I realize it is a different engine, but the ICE only Civic says to use only regular unleaded. It is not just a recommendation - the engine is designed for that grade, and may not last well if you continually use a higher grade. The Honda 3.5 engine will use different fuel grades and adjust timing to compensate, but I don't think the HCH engine is in that category.
  • mistermemisterme Posts: 407
    Stevedebi has some wise advice, and you don't need to buy the expensive premium gas to get outstanding (+60) MPG.

    Thanks for the reply but the info came from a member on a different website which I can not post.

    If your CVT is slipping then perhaps you may need a fluid change.
    Mine was beginning to be a little jerky just before the 30K maintenance window.
    Fluid change fixed mine.
  • jenmike95jenmike95 Posts: 1
    We have a similar problem. The dealer just called, said the battery will be replaced but the replacement, labor, and towing charge isn't covered under warrantee. However, the new battery will be warrantied under its own [new] program. So, how hard do we push to get the original, 2003 battery replaced under warranty? Is it common for the smaller battery to go so quickly? Any references are welcome.
  • I heard from the dealer (Crown Honda at Southpoint, Durham, NC) that Civic hybrids run best on 87 octane gas, and 20W motor oil. He said that if you use 10W 30, your mileage can drop into the 30's in a heartbeat. ;) ">
  • leezerleezer Posts: 2
    hello fellow hybrid fans. here's my question: I took my hybrid in for the 20k service, and ever since, my manual transmission is ultra-stiff (like they put molasses into the transmission fluid line). took it to the dealer and they claim everything checks out and that "hybrids are just like that"... in other words, I'm imagining it. has anyone else had trouble with the hybrid manual transmission stiffening up?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    There is something wrong with the car. Take it back and insist they drain and replace the fluid. They might have put in the wrong kind, or too much or too little fluid.

    I once had a service department put 8 quarts of oil into a 4 quart engine. Mistakes happen.

    It's ABSOLUTELY NOT a case of "hybrids are like that" and that's a ridiculous thing for them to tell you.
  • Help!
    My 2004 civic hybrid "stalled" immediately after rolling thru a busy intersection. The ignition light came on, and the engine and battery powered down. I turned everything off, restarted the ignition, nothing. I repeated that process, et voila....success.
    Has this ever happened to anyone, and what should I do?
    I will contact the dealer, too.
  • arunsterarunster Posts: 1
    Love my 2003 used HCH--getting 44-46 mpg with long (>1200 mile trip) and local commuting combined.

    I have one concern. When I apply my brake and the autostop feature kicks in, occassionaly I hear/feel a bumping/knocking sound--knock, knock, knock, silence. At first I thought it was brake related, but it doesn't happen when the autostop is off (e.g. if air con is on and econ is off). Is this normal?

    Thanks in advance.
  • My 03 HCH just had a successful 60K mile checkup but the Honda service people don't have a clue what might be causing a lurching action when I gently accelerate (under 2000rpm). Especially annoying when I touch the gas pedal partway through a turn or in commuter traffic when I need to move forward at 5-15 mph. Doesn't seem related to cold or heat, to how much gas. If I accelerate strongly, no lurch. I wonder if the fuel line is the problem, or if it might be a computer error. I searched this forum and only found one other 'lurch' but it was not related to giving gas to the car. The problem is getting more noticible.
  • leezerleezer Posts: 2
    Just thought I'd let you know that after a bit of hollering the dealer admitted something was wrong. It seems the cable that connects the gear shift to the transmission (?) was binding on something. They replaced the cable and now it works fine. Thanks for the advice.
  • hysandhysand Posts: 3
    I have begun to have the same exact problem that you describe at 52,000 miles on the same model '03 HCH. Please let me know if you find out what the problem is! I have been to the shop today and will go again tomorrow. Will let you know if I find an answer!
  • dteskadteska Posts: 12
    I am considering the purchase of a new '05 HCH, but have several reservations:

    1. I've heard that the battery pack eventually loses its' effectiveness after 100,000 miles or so, and it would cost about $2,000 to replace it. Has anyone found this to be the case?

    2. Because of the complexity of the hybrid drivetrain, does the dealer charge more for regular maintenance than a normal Civic LX?

    3. I've read about the problems experienced with the CVT, and was wondering if Honda is extending the warranty to cover these problems.

    Thanks for any feedback.

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,555
    I recently asked the guys in our shop how many battery packs they have replaced in hybrids. The answer - ZERO!

    We have Insights coming in with over 100,000 miles without replacing any batteries.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204

    A quick search on a VERY popular "cars for sale" website shows this:

    Total of 45 Honda Civic Hybrids with more than 50,000 miles and less than 80,000 miles for sale nationwide on that site.

    Asking Prices are from $12,989 to $18,999. Many are "Honda Certified."

    I think that speaks well of the longevity.

    The battery worry issue is overdone. Toyota just recently surpassed 340,000 Prius cars sold worldwide and up until a few months ago had NEVER replaced a battery. The total battery failure information is almost impossible to find, but we can be sure it is VERY VERY LOW. (in fact I just found a page which says as of September 2004 Toyota had ZERO battery failures reported, and the 1997 Japanese Prius went on sale in late 1996.)
  • My hyrid is at 53K mile now and I have noticed the lurching when accelerating from stop. The dealer told me it was the start up clutch in the transmission that is failing. I was quoted $1600 to fix the problem. The service dept told me its not covered under warranty.

    Did anyone in the forum get a similar diagnosis from the service dept? Isnt this covered under warranty?
  • hysandhysand Posts: 3
    I also posted last week about the "lurching" problem when accelerating from a stop. I have the '03 Civic Hybrid automatic CVT and I am currently at 52K miles. I took a while, but they finally pulled the transmission code from the computer and it stated that my ERG valve was not working properly. Thankfully, this is covered under the emissions warranty, so I will only have to pay $75 for the labor. I hope this solves my problem for good. I would make sure you are at a Honda-specific shop and I would ask them to run the diagnostic codes while they have Honda techs on the phone. My service guy said that most places haven't been trained on this particular transmission yet, b/c they haven't had anything go wrong with them yet. I was the first case at my shop. If they can't at least run the codes for you, then I would find a different shop. Hope this helps!
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    " Thankfully, this is covered under the emissions warranty, so I will only have to pay $75 for the labor"

    Huh? If an item is covered by warranty, it should include parts and labor...
  • Thank you for the information. I intend to take that to the dealer next week and will report back in case anyone else still has this problem. Much appreciated!
  • hysandhysand Posts: 3
    From what I can tell (from the owner's manual and talking to service dept), the ERG valve is no longer covered after the 3yr/36,000 period. However, my guess is that Honda has issued a technical service bulletin about this problem and they are helping with costs. I'm not sure that there is a TSB out on this particular subject, although I did find a tsb issued in Jan '05. You have to pay to find out what the TSB is about, and that's not an add'l cost I'm willing to pay, if it's not about my particular issue. I hope that clarifies the 'warranty' issue, and thanks for asking b/c I was able to learn about TSBs in the process of my research. :-)
  • igandalf2igandalf2 Posts: 5
    I have an '04 CivicHybrid (55k) with the exact opposite issue. I get lurching, or stuttering when accelerating in high gear, at higher speeds. If I ease of the peddle it stops. It's very noticable, and can see the changes in RPMs on the tach. I've tried to re-create it for the Dealer, but I can't go fast enough long enough, since they're not near an Interstate. They had me disconnect the EGR valve to see if this would cause it to stop, but this made no difference. I've had this for about 15k so far.
  • igandalf2igandalf2 Posts: 5
    Also, my mpg's have fallen from 45 to 43.5. Not a lot, but clearly is not running as efficiently.
  • kstrandkstrand Posts: 3
    Interesting. I have the same problem, but at only 20,000 miles on the same model. Originally I and the shop thought it was the result of a tank of the bad ConocoPhilips gas that circulated on the west coast about a month ago. After the "three stage program": cleaning the injectors, cleaning injectors and flushing the fuel lines, and finally replacing the injectors, the problem persists. They even thought that it might be a problem with the CV transmission and flushed it three times and replaced it with fresh fluid. Yet the problem persists. It occurs as others have described it, at low speed and RPM (about 5-10MPH and 1500-1700RPM) with slight throttle pressure and is a "lurching" sensation. By shifting to "2" and increasing RPM it goes away, or by simply accelerating it also goes away. Also notice that when the engine is not warm the problem is not there. The dealership is as frustrated as I am, and will be more so when I take it in again. Are any of you common sufferers located on the west coast and by chance pumped in a tank or two of ConocoPhilips gas (also sold at 76 stations)?
This discussion has been closed.